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ATPM 11.05
May 2005



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by Robert Paul Leitao,

Welcome to the May issue of About This Particular Macintosh! It’s been said, “April showers bring May flowers.” Our May issue will shower you with so much news from April, we’ve named this the first official “full bloom” issue of your favorite monthly Macintosh Internet magazine. So let’s go “full bore” into this month’s issue:

Lookin’ Back, Movin’ Forward

An amazing thing happened in the first three months of calendar year 2005. Apple Computer shipped more Macintoshes in the first three months of this year than the company sold in the Christmas quarter. Traditionally, this is the slowest period of the year for Macintosh sales, yet Apple shipped one million, seventy thousand Macintoshes in the three-month period ending March 26, 2005. This represents not only more Macintosh sales than in the previous quarter, it also represents an increase in sales of more than three hundred thousand Macintoshes over the prior-year period. In all, it was a record second fiscal quarter for Apple in terms of both sales and earnings. Due to the popularity of the iPod mini, Apple shipped more than five million, three hundred thousand iPods in the March-ending period.

Moving forward, the company expects to match the quarter’s revenue performance in the second calendar quarter of 2005.

Tiger’s Pounce Equals Revenues Bounce?

Yes and no. Saving an extensive statement concerning the April 29th release of Mac OS X 10.4 (code-named Tiger), we’ll take a quick look at a related issue that has fostered much conversation on Macintosh discussion boards. The release of Tiger will add to Apple’s sales in the next few quarters. But the revenue generated by the Macintosh and the iPod dwarfs the revenue generated by the sales of Tiger to existing Mac owners. Where Apple sees the biggest benefit from the release of Tiger is through the sales of new Macintoshes to buyers who succumb to the allure of OS X 10.4 and by the cost-benefit of an Apple-developed operating system.

Apple’s hardware competitors such as HP, Dell and Gateway must pay an OS royalty to Microsoft on each Windows-PC shipped. This gives Apple a significant cost benefit over its competitors. To the extent the sales of Tiger to Mac owners desiring to upgrade the OS on their computers covers the costs of development, the cost advantage Apple has over its competitors only widens.

Movin’ Back, Lookin’ Forward

Thanks to the increasing popularity of the Macintosh, Apple Computer has moved back into the top five for US sales among the world’s PC makers. It’s been a long way back for Apple and the Mac. Apple’s Macintosh unit sales are rising faster than the unit sales gains of the overall PC business, establishing Apple once again as a growth company in its core business. This is good news for all Mac users because it may lead to more software development for the platform as software companies see growth opportunities in Apple’s rising share of the PC market.

Looking forward, Apple should be able to sustain strong year-over-year unit sales gains for the next few quarters.

Why Is It Called a “Speed Bump”?

We wonder why the release of a faster Mac is often called a “speed bump.” For those of us familiar with the hazards of suburban streets, speed bumps are designed to slow one down rather than to speed one up. One either slows down over a speed bump or chooses to drive in a bit of a zigzag to avoid the thumping thing that can happen over a speed bump to everything in one’s trunk.

In any case, at press time Apple released speed-bumped G5s sporting up to 2.7 GHz performance in a dual-processor configuration. The new machines promise to speed up one’s work rather than slow one down. We wonder though. Where are the long-promised 3 GHz G5s originally forecast to be ready for release sometime last summer? While we wait for IBM to clear its G5 development hurdles we bring you our latest issue.

Life in the Fast Lane

Each issue of ATPM is designed to be easy and enjoyable to read. There are no literary speed bumps in any of our editions as we strive to bring the best Macintosh-related content in a convenient monthly format.

Our first official “Full Bloom” issue includes:

The Candy Apple: Sometimes, We Get What We Pay For

Ellyn ponders whether quality products are worth the extra cost.

Bloggable: Apple, Rehabilitated

“An empirical look at just how outsized an influence the Mac intelligentsia have would be nice…and this month, we have one.”

About This Particular Web Site

In this month’s ATPW, you can read about a zero-emissions van, pay a visit to Chernobyl, and look in on some fresh British lard. We’ll also help you locate an unknown file extension and delocate to a non-corporate café for some refreshment when you’re done.

Pod People: Creative Understanding Achieved Via iPod

“I love my iPods. They transition me from one place to another: from home to work, from place to place, and now, from rehearsal to concert.”

Segments: The Apple Store SOHO

“Starbucks had better watch out. There is no reason Apple’s retail stores could not draw java-crazed e-nomads away with an iCafé in concert with their in-store Genius Bars.”

How To: Buy a Mac mini or Upgrade Your Cube?

Comparing the new Mac mini to upgrading its predecessor, the Cube, this article includes performance comparisons and installation commentary for the Cube PowerLogix PowerForce7457 CPU upgrade.

Cartoon: Cortland

Cortland and his friends wrap up at the luncheon schmooze and learn that Wieser Graphics might get bought out Also, someone is very interested in Cortland’s portfolio.

Desktop Pictures: Canadian Rockies

Reader Bill Jastram shares photos from a winter vacation to Banff and Yoho National Parks.

Frisky Freeware

Frisky the Freeware Guinea Pig checks out Cyberduck.

Review: Expert Mouse 7.0

Bigger, badder, and now in a Darth Vader edition, Kensington’s Expert Mouse is another rare product that lives up to its marketing hype.

Review: Keynamics Laptop Stand on Wheels

So incredibly comfortable that you’re more than willing to ignore its odd looks.

Review: MacJournal 3.0.2

Feeling it isn’t ideal at its intended purpose, our Bloggable author Wes Meltzer finds MacJournal to be enjoyable for organizing his writing.

Review: Mind Hacks (book)

Paul Fatula reviews Mind Hacks, a book that looks at some of the peculiar and unexpected functionings of the human brain and allows the reader to experience and begin to understand them.

Review: 15-inch PowerBook G4

Two steps forward, one step back, $100 cheaper than before.

Review: TransPod FM

DLO’s TransPod FM seeks to be an all-in-one solution for iPod use in a motor vehicle. A long weekend road trip in the family minivan, then a few weeks in a SUV for everyday driving, give the TransPod the chance to prove its mettle.


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Reader Comments (2)

George G. Garrett · May 2, 2005 - 23:10 EST #1
No ATPO this month? :(
Will it return next month?
Ted Goranson (ATPM Staff) · May 3, 2005 - 14:31 EST #2
ATPO will return, never fear.

Best, Ted

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